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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: C-7Last update of repository: 7 September 2017
Operativnyi arkhiv Sluzhby vneshnei razvedki RF (Arkhiv SVR Rossii)
Total: ca. 340,000 units, 1918 to present
The archive holds all the records of foreign intelligence operations of the former KGB and its predecessors, which before the end of 1991 were under the First Chief Directorate of the KGB of the USSR.
The basis of the archive consists of operational files from the Foreign Division (INO), and subsequently the First Directorate, including those prepared by intelligence agents in foreign stations (rezidentura) abroad. There are also files on agents of foreign intelligence services, and also on persons considered to be of intelligence interest abroad.
The archive also includes files of the so-called Directorate (or Administration) of Special Tasks, dating back to the late 1920s, the separate intelligence center that was primarily responsible for acts of diversion (or sabotage) and for illegal penetration in foreign countries. There are files of agents including persons illegally entering the country or those in illegal status abroad—“illegals” is the term used for intelligence agents operating under false identity or without diplomatic immunity. These also include files on Soviet “illegals” involved in military operations in Germany and other countries of Eastern Europe during World War II.
A second group of files consists of informational materials collected from foreign sources, and files concerning preservation of the security of Soviet (and now Russian) institutions and organizations abroad. There are also records on monetary and other allowances, personnel files and regulations on staff and recruited agents, and files on the communication of secret documents.
There is a special collection of state decorations and awards for appropriate persons who furnished confidential assistance to the Russian intelligence service.
The archive also retains records of related scientific research institutes connected to the SVR and its predecessors, including the SVR training institute.
N.B. Following an agreement with Rosarkhiv in spring 1995, there were limited transfers to federal archival custody (most specifically to RGVA—see B-8). These include various special-lettered and agent-observational files, translated documents on inter-governmental relations of a number of countries, translated protocols of governing agencies of NATO and some Western countries, translated documents of the Foreign Ministries of France, New Zealand, Great Britain, Turkey, and other countries relating to various questions, military-political surveys of intelligence and security services of several states, and translated texts of correspondence among leaders of a number of foreign countries.